A new week is here and another event on the Professional Bull Riders 25th Anniversary Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour is in the record books with yet another major shake-up in the world standings. After another huge weekend where many qualified rides were made in Chicago many cowboys earned some valuable season points while trying to keep pace with those few that have not taken their foot off of the accelerator since the beginning of the season in New York. The 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis comes into Oklahoma City after regaining the number one spot that he has been searching for ever since his record year and is laser-focused on winning another world title in 2018. Davis comes into this season with a renewed mindset and is ready and willing to put it all on the line each and every time the latch cracks this year!
As the 2018 Express Employment Professionals Invitational looks at us straight in the face, that would only mean one thing, the first round was set to begin inside of the Chesapeake Energy Arena as the Professional Bull Riders invade Oklahoma City! After two events where the weather did not treat us the greatest, it was time to return to warmer climates and not have to worry about stranded contestants at every turn. Along with the change of venue and better weather, we are also going to see a much different look as many new faces, names and bucking bulls will be debuted here this weekend over the two-day event. It will be interesting to see what this will do to the world standings leaderboard as any cowboy is just one event win away from moving well within the top 35 bull riders in the world which will guarantee them a spot on the Unleash The Beast Tour for the foreseeable future!
Juan Contreras Makes Good On His Unleash The Beast Tour Debut
Photo Credit: Jeana Wilson Kilcrease / Rokin’ K Photos
Coming into this weekend’s Express Employment Professionals Invitational we were all ready for another huge event after seeing two of the best events prior to this that we have seen in recent memory. So far this year, J.B. Mauney has made his historic 500th career Unleash The Beast Tour qualified ride, we have seen Gage Gay earn the number one spot in the world standings for the first time in his career and have seen a previous PBR World Champion regain the number one spot. Keep in mind that we are only beginning our third event of the 2018 season here tonight in Oklahoma City and that there is a lot more history to be made throughout the rest of the year. That being said, in round one we will all watch as a slew of new up and coming talent make their debuts on both the cowboy and the bucking bull side of the arena.
Leading up to round one here in Oklahoma City, many eyes were scanning the round one draw and the day sheets that were handed out to the fans attending the event in hopes of figuring out who would have the upper hand tonight. That being said, after looking at all the match-ups it would be completely up in the air as virtual unknowns would highlight the headlines on Friday night. Everyone wondered how things would shake out and who would take advantage of the opportunities that were put in front of them. Throughout round one we were able to see some very talented up and coming bull riders and bovine athletes that would wow those watching live and on CBS Sports Network. After round one concluded, a few of those enjoying the spotlight for the first time would make the most of their time in Oklahoma that included the huge 88 point ride effort put out by Juan Contreras as he would fair better than Phenom Genetics/Hatfield/Fecho’s Lethal Larry that was placed underneath of him. This would send him into tomorrow afternoon’s round two riding a high wave of confidence to make his first championship round on the Unleash The Beast Tour in 2018!
Juan Contreras Celebrates His Round One Win In OKC
Photo Credit: Jeana Wilson Kilcrease / Rokin’ K Photos
Once the round one performance finally began we were all hoping to see the momentum carry on from the previous two events that showed us a large number of rides totaling almost 50%, which is astounding and completely unexpected! Coming into the round, many questions remained as the ABBI Classic bulls would cause havoc among the top bull riders in the world, much the same as it did all throughout the year in 2017, but with new blood within the ranks, the tides could turn in a big way. All of the questions and unknowns that most of the PBR fans had would quickly be answered as round one here in Oklahoma City would conclude leaving the fans watching the event live, on the edge of their seats wanting more as we head into tomorrow afternoon’s final rounds of 2018 here in OKC!
Upon the conclusion of round one, we all were left in awe of the action that we were able to watch down on the arena floor. Following suit from the previous two events in New York City and Chicago, it seemed as if the top bull riders in the world would live up to the expectations that the fans had of them as round one started off with a bang and a slew of qualified rides. One by one, each match-up would play out as we dimmed the lights from round one, sending thirteen of the top thirty-five bull riders into round two with a qualified ride and points on the board. Even though all the others did their best, no one could put up the effort that Juan Contreras did to win round one at his very first Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour, taking home the 100 world title race points that went along with it!
Complete List Of Round One Qualified Rides From Oklahoma City:
Juan Contreras (88.00) Eduardo Aparecido (87.00)
Dener Barbosa (87.00) Ryan Dirteater (86.50)
Fabiano Vieira (86.50) Nathan Burtenshaw (85.75)
Kurt Shephard (85.75) Valdiron de Oliveira (85.50)
Dakota Buttar (85.25) Jess Lockwood (85.25)
Jose Vitor Leme (85.00) Ramon de Lima (85.00)
Garret Lange (82.50)
As round one concluded earlier tonight here in Oklahoma City, we all were left wanting to more about many of the athletes that we watched perform on both sides of the arena. This was the first time that the fans of the PBR’s 25th Anniversary Monster Energy Unleash The Beast Tour were introduced to many bull riders and bucking bulls that we had either never heard of or have only seen on amateur tours or on lower levels of the Professional Bull Riders organization. It was announced throughout the week that some major names have decided to step away from the weekly competitions which opened up the doors for many of the cowboys that we saw here tonight. Along with them, we also got our first glimpse of some new bovine athletes that made their way to the elite arena for the first time in hopes of impressing the Director of PBR Livestock Cody Lambert. If tomorrow is anything like tonight’s round was, it will be very interesting to see who walks out as the event champion!
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